Kent launches campaign to promote heritage railways

Kent is launching a new campaign to encourage more visitors for its network of heritage railways. Visit Kent officially launched its Connecting Kent’s Heritage Railways project last month with a special reception at the historic East Kent Railway.

Representatives from five of Kent’s tourist railway lines joined Kent county council cabinet member for economic development Mark Dance and Visit Kent chief executive Sandra Matthews-Marsh for afternoon tea aboard the vintage buffet carriage at Eythorne station, near Dover

Earlier this year, Visit Kent successfully bid for £75,000 from the Department for Transport’s Heritage and Community Rail Tourism Innovation Fund to help boost the profile of the county’s heritage railways.

Working in partnership with Southeastern Railway and five heritage railways, the campaign will bring ‘the old and the new’ together by improving the historic network’s digital presence and forging closer links with the modern rail operators. 

“Kent has a wonderful heritage rail network, each offering something different – from dining experiences on steam trains, taking tea on retro diesel engines or exploring the coast on a miniature railway,” says Matthews-Marsh. “A huge amount of people put so much time and effort into keeping these networks going, often for free, and we want to celebrate their hard work and the railways’ stories. 

“Our project will aim to inspire visitors to complete or extend their journeys around Kent on our heritage railways, with a new digital platform and increased information about nearby networks at our modern stations.”

The five participating heritage railway partners are East Kent Railway, Kent and East Sussex Railway, Romney Hythe and Dymchurch Railway, Sittingbourne and Kemsley Light Railway, Spa Valley Railway.